'Art House' to bring fine arts to downtown Fulton

Featuring feature local artists, photography and supplies, sneak peek begins Thursday

The long-vacant storefront at 531 Court St. will soon have a new permanent tenant as the Art House, a downtown art cooperative and artistic business front, is slated to open January 2014. The art gallery component will hold a sneak preview reception Thursday, featuring live music, food and artwork for display and purchase.

The long-vacant storefront at 531 Court St. will soon have a new permanent tenant as the Art House, a downtown art cooperative and artistic business front, is slated to open January 2014. The art gallery component will hold a sneak preview reception Thursday, featuring live music, food and artwork for display and purchase. Photo by Dean Asher.

What Brick District Association President Tom Riley calls “the biggest thing we’ve been able to accomplish for downtown Fulton” started as a simple suggestion.

“I have consistently gotten feedback for some time that many people want to see a visual arts venue in downtown Fulton,” Riley said in a release. “We need to support the arts, and we want to increase the number of venues offering events and activities in our downtown.”

From there, a group of Brick District members, local artists and Fulton residents have collaborated to form the Art House, an art gallery, classroom and artistic business space that will open at 531 Court St., in the long-vacant storefront next to Cornerstone Antiques.

Though the Art House won’t hold its grand opening until some time next month, Fulton residents will have a chance at a sneak peek starting Thursday, Dec. 19, when the steering committee holds a Christmas party 5:30-8:30 p.m., which will feature music, food and drink, as well as locally-produced art on display and for sale.

The cooperative would be the first public gallery in Fulton not associated with William Woods University or Westminster College in 30 years.

The Art House will remain open through the holidays, at which point it will close for a construction period. By the time it reopens in early to mid-January, it will house professional lighting and display equipment as well as Studio Seven Photography and a framing and art supply store operated by Well Read Books owners Danielle and Brian Warren.

Riley said that the Art House’s primary goals are to showcase local artists, offer cultural activities for the community and attract visitors to Fulton. He told the Fulton Sun that about 15 artists have currently committed to take part for Thursday’s preview.

“A lot of people felt we could do more to promote the arts downtown, and we realized needed more for people to do,” he said. “We wanted to make Thursday night an event night to bring people downtown, and see things Sunday afternoon. Having an art gallery with classes and shows made sense.”

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